Sultan Al Neyadi shows how astronauts unwind onboard International Space Station

UAE astronaut demonstrates how to play space darts

Sultan Al Neyadi playing space darts with colleagues on ISS.
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UAE's Sultan Al Neyadi gave an insight into how astronauts spend some of their free time onboard the International Space Station.

Dr Al Neyadi, who is just a few weeks away from returning to Earth, posted a video on Friday giving a demonstration of one of the games they play to unwind after work.

“Welcome to the space games. Today we're playing space darts,” he says, introducing the video.

The game, played with Nasa astronaut Stephen Bowen and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, involves participants trying to throw a table tennis ball, in a dart-like motion, through two rings.

In a separate image shared on Nasa's website, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev and Nasa astronaut Warren Hoburg are pictured playing chess inside the space station's cupola.

Nasa said the orbital lab was soaring 417km above the Colombia-Venezuela border at the time the picture was taken by Dr Al Neyadi.

He has also captured parts of the UAE and the wider Arab world on camera since arriving at the station. In one of his recent Twitter posts, he shared an image of Dubai and its coastline.

Dr Al Neyadi, 42, arrived on the space station on March 3 and is due to return in mid-August.

He achieved many firsts on this mission, including becoming the first Arab to perform a spacewalk when he ventured outside the station with Capt Bowen for a seven-hour maintenance assignment in April.

He is now an experienced astronaut, having carried out many different tasks in space that range from repair work, scientific investigations and communicating with mission control.

In May, he welcomed two Saudi astronauts to the space station, which took the population of Arabs together in space to three.

Rayyanah Barnawi, who became the first Arab woman to go on a space mission, and Ali Al Qarni flew to the ISS for an eight-day stay.

Updated: July 21, 2023, 9:11 AM